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September 10, 1990 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-10

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A century of editorial freedom
Vol. CI No. 3 Ann Arbor, Michigan - Monday, September 10, 1990 The 1990aily

*Summit
leaders
condemn
Hussein
HELSINKI, Finland (AP) -
President Bush and Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev joined Sunday in
a joint condemnation of Iraq's inva-
sion of Kuwait, and said they agreed
'in seven hours of summit talks that
"aggression cannot and will not
pay.~
Gorbachev emphasized the need
for a "political" solution, insisting
his former ally, Saddam Hussein, is
headed "into a dead end" by strug-
gling to hold Kuwait against stiff in-
ternational sanctions.
Bush held out the possibility of
using force if the embargo is not ef-
fective, but Gorbachev pointedly re-
frained from saying the Soviet
Union would support a military
move against Iraq. 4
Yet the Soviet president said he
* See SUMMIT, Page 2

Seven hurt in

Union

brawl

Four people remain hospitalized
after fight erupts during party

by Cathy Best

A party in the Michigan Union
turned into violence early Saturday
morning, leaving three University
security officers beaten, four young
men stabbed and one man shot, after
fighting erupted.
Phi Beta Sigma, a University fra-
ternity, was sponsoring the
fundraiser, when fighting broke out
at around midnight. According to
Ann Arbor police, about 500 people
were at the party, which was open to
the public.
Fraternity members, witnesses
and Ann Arbor police officers said
those involved in the melee were not
likely University students.
Police made no arrests.
According to an Ann Arbor
police report, those involved in the
violence were groups of Ann Arbor

residents and Ypsilanti-Willow Run
youths who have a history of mutual
hostility.
None of the injured were Univer-
sity students.
Witness Jiba Anderson, an LSA
first-year student, said the fighting
began inside the party. "One minute
everyone is dancing, and the next
minute the floor (cleared)," he said.
After the dancing resumed, An-
derson said the floor cleared again,
and then chairs were "flying," as
another fight erupted.
Vice president of Phi Beta Sigma
Harold Mitchell, an LSA senior, said
as soon as the fighting in the ball-
room started, some fraternity
brothers ran inside to help breakit
up. They stopped the music and told
everyone to leave.
See BRAWL, page 2

A'T OUNY M. L'acaLIyI
The Michigan Union ballroom was the site of the Phi Sigma Kappa party where a fight broke out early Saturday
morning. Seven people were injured - four of whom remain hospitalized - when the fight was brought
outside.

i

Obscenity

debate set in

uncertain

by Anne#8 Petrusso and
Kristin Palm
Daily Arts Editors
First in a five-part series
From the controversy over public
funding for the National Endowment
for the Arts, to the arrest of such rap
groups as 2 Live Crew, Too Much
Joy and Kid 'N Play, to the
obscenity trial of a museum director
for displaying a Robert
Mapplethorpe photography exhibit,
many kinds of arts have been
publicly deemed obscene or immoral
by many influential people. These
incidents would merely be a matter
of public debate if law and
lawmakers were not involved. But
this is not the case.
In the mainstream media, this
current flourish of censoring or
restricting artists centers on two
issues: obscenity and morality. U.S.
District Court Judge Jose Gonzalez
ruled the content of the 2 Live Crew
album As Nasty as They Want to Be
obscene, prohibiting its sale in a
three-county area of Florida. Dennis
Barrie, director of the Contemporary
Arts Center in Cincinnati, is being
tried on the charge of public display
of obscenity due to the content of
Mapplethorpe's photographs. These
are two major incidences on which
the debate is focused.
"There are obscenity laws in
every state in the Union," .said
Robyn Blumner, director of the
Florida chapter of the American

Civil Liberties Union, who was
involved with the 2 Live Crew case.
However, these laws are enforced
randomly. Alan Wildmon, public
relations director of the American
the.
Politfi. S
*..Art
Family Association (AFA), stated
his support of these arrests: "Our
position is this: you've got various
laws, state laws, elected officials to
pass obscenity laws, and these laws
are based on a ruling by the highest
court in the land, the United States
Supreme Court.
"We felt, like any other law,
these laws should be enforced
regardless of whether I don't like it
or someone else doesn't like it."
It was the AFA, headed by
Wildmon's brother, the Rev. Donald
Wildmon, that initiated the
investigation of As Nasty as They
Wanna Be.
One reason often cited for the
concern with content is the
protection of young minds and
traditional values.
"We support traditional family
values, and when you are advocating

raping a woman and breaking her
back and... her vagina, we feel that
you've stepped over the line,
especially for minors," Alan
Wildmon said.
Robert Walser, a musicologist
who has taught at the University of
Michigan and the University of
Minnesota, sees the situation
differently.
"The mainstream media or law-
enforcement people would have us
believe that that case (of 2 Live
Crew) is about protecting children
from vicious messages, protecting
women from misogynist messages,
that kind of thing," Walser said.
"(But) that's a case where it's
really clear that that's not what's
going on at all, because the county
where those people were arrested is a
county that has strip shows and sex
clubs and all kinds of things going
on," he said. "It's about oppression."
Dave Marsh, rock critic and editor
of the music newsletter Rock-n-Roll
Confidential, agreed with Walser's
statements. "You can't go with this
ridiculous, stupid notion that this
has something to do with protecting
children because it doesn't have
anything to do with protecting
children. It has to do with censoring
adults.
"I don't think a strong case can
be made that a Madonna record or
a... Bruce Springsteen record or for
that matter even a 2 Live Crew
record is... promoted at kids; maybe

it's promoted at people who are
immature.
"We're dealing with people who
want to take away (2 Live Crew
member) Luther Campbell's right to
speak in the name of protecting
women and children... I love kids
but I don't want everything I write
for the rest of my life reduced to the
level of whether or not it is
acceptable to a six-year-old. I don't
think that's good for the six-year-old
to have to live in that world and I
know it's not good for me."
A similar debate concerns funding
for artist grants by the National
Endowment for the Arts. Many
artists who were expecting grants
this year were surprisingly denied
them because of the controversial
nature of their work
Barry Lynn, legislative director
and counsel for the American Civil'
Liberties Union's national office,
believes the current rise in awareness
about censorship began with the
NEA controversy, which currently
requires those who receive grants to
sign an anti-obscenity pledge.
Lynn explained, "I think there is
a growing amount of interest in this
[censorship] mainly focused or
originating from the controversy
over federal funding for the National
Endowment for the Arts. That seems
to have done two things: coalesced
right wing forces who believe that
sexually-oriented art is pornographic

and should not receive federal
funding, and it also has led to a
genuine chilling effect on the part of
artists and exhibitors of art who fear
they may become the subject of
legal actions if sexually-oriented
material is on display in their
facility."
The AFA's Wildmon expressed a
point of view counter to Lynn's and
similar to many critics of the NEA.
"It's not a matter of censorship, it's
a matter of sponsorship. Every U.S.
department in Washington has
guidelines on how money can be
spent and the NEA is no different
than the rest of them," he said.
NEA critics hope to discontinue
public funding of what they call
offensive art. This art, they say,
should be paid for by the private
sector. "We feel that the artists
should be free to express themselves
in any way they want to express
themselves," Wildmon said. "But,
by the same token, we don't feel that
the taxpayers should be forced to pay
for this."
The anti-censorship forces believe
both the charges of obscenity in rock
lyrics and the threat to the NEA
either constitutes or borders on
censorship, and they say the heart of
the issue is politics. Ideas regarding
morality and obscenity, and the
racial and.cultural fears of people,
some said, are used in the localities
in which these incidents occur so

erms
elected police officials and
prosecutors can score easy points
with voters.
Florida's Blumner said she has
observed this in dealings with elected
politicians. "Sheriffs and local
prosecutors see this as an
opportunity to gain some additional
notoriety while attacking an issue
they think is popular."
Lynn agreed, noting that "Most
of the stuff is happening at the local
level. County sheriffs decide to get
some political points from a piece of
their community by' busting the
clerk at a porno book store, the clerk
at a record store for selling 2 Live
Crew tapes, as if 2 Live Crew does
anything other than reflect what's
really going on in the culture."
Michigan has not been exempt
from this type of action. Recently in
Royal Oak, the owner of the Off the
Record music store was issued a
citation by city police for displaying
an allegedly obscene poster of the
cover of heavy metal group Jane's
Addiction album Ritual De Lo
Habitual. And this fall, hearings
will continue in the Michigan
legislature for a package of bills that
would broaden the scope of materials
that can be deemed legally obscene.
But Lynn said the realm of local
politics is as far as this issue will be
carried because these cases will not
hold up in court. In order to be
See OBSCENITY page 17

State Democrats
nominate Maynard

Analysts differ

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Michigan
Democrats yesterday gave a rousing
reception to Olivia Maynard as their
new candidate for lieutenant gover-
nor, while trying to close the door
on Lt. Gov. Martha Griffiths' bitter
departure from the ticket.
Delegates hugged and kissed
Maynard as she made her way to the
platform after being nominated to
replace Griffiths.
The former congress member and
long-time champion of women's
rights was booted from the ticket
after two terms by Gov. James Blan-
chard who said he feared she was no
longer able to step in as governor at
a moment's notice.
Griffiths skipped yesterday's por-
tion of the convention after asking
that a tribute to her be canceled be-
cause she did not want to listen to

to advance the cause of women's
rights in this country and every man
and every woman and every child in
this country owes much to her."
Griffiths was instrumental in
adding provisions barring sex dis-
crimination to the civil rights laws
and in prying the Equal Rights
Amendment from a balky House
committee. The amendment failed to
be ratified by enough states.
Otherwise, the day belonged to
Maynard.
Delegates wore black tee-shirts
with the words "Libby, Libby,
Libby" in fluorescent colors on the
front. They waved signs that read
"Maynard for Michigan" and "Flint
loves Libby" and chanted "Libby,
Libby, Libby."
Maynard lives in Flint and is
former chair of the Michigan Demo-

on Iraqi
BAGHDAD, Iran (AP) - Iraq's
foreign minister yesterday sought
help from Iran in cracking the U.N.-1
imposed embargo on Baghdad, but
the United States and Soviet Unionl
renewed their commitment to the
sanctions.1
Syria's official news agency
reported that a series of 461
explosions were heard in the Iraqi
town of Al-Qaim near the border,
resulting in an undetermined number
of casualties. ABC News identified
the site of the blasts as the Al-Qaim
chemical plant.
The official Iraqi News Agency
denied the report of explosions in
Al-Qaim.
Last month, Polish workers
returning home from Iraq reported
that about 35 Americans were
brought to the chemical plant in Al-
OntnnnAttin_ 17 tinder ward. It

position
The analysts contended Iraqi air-
craft are no match for the U.S. wart
planes and believe the Americans
would quickly gain air superiority.
But some said Iraq, with its army of
about 1 million men, has some of
the best ground forces in the world
and that a conventional war cannot
be won by air power alone.
In addition, Iraq's chances for bat-
tefield success are hurt by its leader-
ship and its inability to take full ad-
vantage of the sophisticated weapons
it possesses, the analysts said
Saddam, who has no military
training, gives the orders, and-the
,analysts said they were not,
impressed by his tactical decisions
during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88.
However, they said the lightning
invasion of Kuwait indicated tha,
See GULF, Page 2
I--e

. . , . ,..._ _ .. s.ti, ti ..., . ... .. _ _. ,. ..

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